Alcohol Effects Research Emulator System

Period of Performance: 09/01/1995 - 08/31/1996


Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Immersive Systems, Inc.
Millwood, NY 10546
Principal Investigator


We propose to build a prototype personal computer-based system called AERES, for Alcohol Effects Research Emulation System. Emulations are real-time interactive immersive experiences. Emulations receive inputs from one or more subjects acting on real physical devices, and bio-sensors while outputing to the subjects synthesized graphic and sensory feedback. Emulations can be created to measure subjects' responses, and to verify hypothesized behavioral models. Emulations can be used to demonstrate alcohol-effects to subjects. The subjects may be alcohol-impaired or not. The subjects can be monitored in immersive virtual environments that mimic dangerous or unavailable situations. Research requires flexibility when creating experimental protocols, and variability of environments. AERES gives the alcohol-effects researcher control over form and content of immersive experiments and training sessions. AERES is designed to be low in cost, and to be used by researchers who are only casual computer users. AERES comprises two main components. It is an authoring system used to establish immersive environments and the scenario the subject experiences. The authoring system establishes the rules that determine the time course of the interactive scenario and data recording. AERES is also the integrated hardware and software components that run the emulation. Phase I provides partial immersion. PROPOSED COMMERCIAL APPLICATION: A researcher-configurable emulator can be used by labs in industry, government and academia to create specific environments and experiences for experiments. The resulting emulation, suitably modified, can be used as an immersive trainer. The AERES can be diverted from research to author immersive entertainments. The resulting emulation can be sold as a game.